Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news A history of desserts. The history of toothpaste. Selling dead people’s things. The history of American fear. Civil War soldiers who glowed. Returning the wandering womb. The “macaroni” scandal of 1772. Why disability studies for archives? How to write about criminal women. How science… Read more →

Illustration shows Uncle Sam as the "Pied Piper" playing a pipe labeled "Lax Immigration Laws" and leading a horde of rats labeled "Jail Bird, Murderer, Thief, Criminal, Crook, Kidnapper, Incendiary, Assassin, Convict, Bandit, Fire Brand, White Slaver, [and] Degenerate", and some carry signs that read "Black Hand" showing a black handprint. In the background, rulers from "France, Russia, Germany, Italy, Hungary/Austria, Turkey, [and] Greece", along with citizens of these countries, are cheering the fleeing rats.

From Mooktie to Juan: The Eugenic Origins of the “Defective Immigrant”

On a Monday in November 1905, a “little deaf and dumb … 10-year old Eurasian girl” called Mooktie Wood arrived in the US on the steamship Canopic. An orphan with no known relatives, Mooktie had been “picked up” by an American Pentecostal missionary, Lillian Sprague, in the wake of one of the many devastating famines… Read more →

More Recent Articles

Sex, Death, and Atole at the Royal Indian Hospital

Mexico City, 18th Century For the wounded, diseased, and ailing of Mexico City, just about anything was better than the Royal Indian Hospital. By the 18th century it had been around awhile. King Philip II had established the Indian Hospital in the 1560s in a haphazard attempt to demonstrate the Crown’s supposed “piety and love… Read more →

Deconstructing the Stonewall Myth (Brick by Brick)

If you’ve been on social media at all during the month of June, you’ve probably seen Marsha P. Johnson’s name floating through your feeds. Johnson, a self-identified drag queen and founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, looms large in public consciousness today as the “black, bisexual trans woman, who was a sex worker, that… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news A history of hospice. Archiving while black. Lobotomies and colitis. How to decolonize a museum. The 18th-century craze for gin. A brief history of the word “femme.” An intellectual history of the sandbox. A history of home sewing and fashion. The secret surgeries of… Read more →

“The Sickness”: Schooling, Separation, and Sociality in Southern Guyana

As soon as I began my fieldwork in Guyana in July of 2014, I started to hear hushed discussions and whispered warnings about something the locals were calling “the sickness.” While I assumed that they were referencing something like malaria or the flu, I soon discovered how wrong I was. “The sickness,” sometimes mentioned explicitly… Read more →

A panoramic desert landscape with a lot of sand, mountains in the background, and long rows of military style barracks.

What Will Today’s Immigration Detention Centers Look like to Future Americans?

This piece originally appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2016 and is reprinted here with permission of the author. Janet Golden’s latest book is Babies Made Us Modern: How Infants Brought America into the Twentieth Century. Seventy-five years ago, over 125,000 Americans (the majority of them citizens) were sent to concentration camps. Over half of those interned were children. As… Read more →